This Is Why Women Have Body Image Issues

I just needed a new pair of shorts & all I got was lowered self-esteem

Emily Steele


It was Saturday morning. We were at the local outlet mall. And I was about to try and make friends with my body, again.

I am a 5 foot 2, curvy, 25 year old white female. It’s summer. And I need a pair of jean shorts.

That’s all.

Coincidentally, my boyfriend is also in the market for a new pair of shorts today. For (sad) humor & comparison sake, here’s the story of him shopping for a new pair of shorts.

Me: “You need some new shorts. Those have a huge hole in the butt.”

Michael: *looks at tag in back of shorts* “Alright. These are from Gap. Let’s go to Gap.”

We go to Gap.

It takes me all of 2 minutes to peruse the women’s section and find that they have no jean shorts in an age-appropriate style. They have completely skipped my age group and catered right to 10 year olds and their mothers. Smart move, Gap.

I find Michael piling shorts into his arms, all the same size.

“Do you want to take a couple sizes in the dressing room in case this size doesn’t work?” I ask, “Maybe they’ve changed the cut since you last bought these…”

We go to the dressing room where Michael slips off his existing size 34 shorts and slides on the new ones (still size 34.)

They fit perfectly. He slips out of them and back into his hole-y shorts, grabs 3 more pair in different colors and we check out.

The end.

Four stores later, 3 of which did not have jean shorts I’d even risk trying on, I took the plunge. I tried on 2 different styles in 2 different sizes of each.


Too tight on the thighs, too loose at button fly/zipper area, too much gapping in the back.


We end up at what we decide will be the final store. I won’t mention its name because it doesn’t matter — this same experience could have happened just about anywhere — but this is where shit really hit the fan.



Emily Steele

lifter of heavy things: thoughts, words, weights, burdensome beliefs